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Grateful Dead Live at American University on 1972-09-30

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Grateful Dead Live at American University on 1972-09-30

Topics Live concert

Deal, Mexicali Blues, Sugaree, Black Throated Wind, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, El Paso, Bird Song, Big River, Loser, Playin' In The Band, Casey Jones Greatest Story Ever Told, He's Gone, Me & My Uncle, Brokedown Palace, Truckin'-> The Other One, Sing Me Back Home, Sugar Magnolia, Mississippi Half Step, Uncle John's Band, E: One More Saturday Night

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue American University
Location Washington, DC

Source Soundboard
Lineage SB> MR> Cassette> DAT> CD


SB> MR> Cassette> DAT> CD; except OMSN SB> MR>cass(2)> DAT> CD; CD> cleanup> SHN; see info file for fixes and flaw notes; via Matt Vernon


Reviewer: Chris U. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 5, 2014
Subject: "World's Cheapest High"
So declares Bobby after he informs the stage managers that the band is being "blasted with jet breath" from the heaters around the stage (probably especially noticeable if you're facing the audience and singing El Paso, which he had just finished doing).

This is a nice show from a period of great confidence and competence. As others have noticed, Bobby's guitar is high in the mix, higher than Jerry's guitar, and way higher than Keith's keys. Phil's bass is also a bit lower than you might want it. That said, the fidelity and separation is fantastic so if you find yourself drawn to Weir's playing generally during this period (like me) or want to study it in fine grain detail, this is the recording for you! His super juicy flange effect on the Casey Jones will shred your mind (beware the cut in China->Rider!)

I don't think any of the versions of these songs are strong candidates for "greatest ever" with the possible exception of Black Throated Wind which is sung with gusto by Weir. Not only does he let loose a couple white noise hollers during the outro verses (as he does in the Baltimore show from the 17th, a couple weeks earlier) but he manages to nail an exceptionally high note as well. Kudos. Bob's vocals would never be the same after 74, it seems, but for a while there in the early 70s he brought some (almost) refined excitement to the table. Mind-melting.

Someone (ssofranko) noted that the OMSN finale is taken from a different show (5-4-72). I wonder if the same is true of the 1/2 Step and the Uncle John's Band (both great versions but the mix is a tad more "even" than the rest of the recording and the tempo seems maybe a tad faster than you'd expect given the rest of the show. Whatever the source, the two songs definitely appeared next to each other in the show just as you hear. Just for grins, I flipped through every 1/2 step prior to this date and this version aint from any of those so I'm probably just imagining things.
Reviewer: ToddWCorey - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 3, 2014
Subject: OMSN
One More Saturday Night sounded suspicious to me - very fast, and I heard Pigpen's organ. Sure enough, this version is actually from 5/4/72.

Nice show, great Bird Song, but this encore doesn't belong here.
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 8, 2012
Subject: Good show...
Sublime Bird Song. One of the very best.
Reviewer: cryptical70 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 16, 2011
Subject: Bobby's guitar is very high in the mix!!
Most of the time, it's hard to hear Bob Weir's rhythm guitar, as it is usually low in the mix. However, for this recording, you can hear Bob's guitar loud and clear. It's obvious he's just doing his rhythm things, and not soloing like Jerry.
I think Garcia's guitar gets louder later on.
Reviewer: chasc - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 2, 2010
Subject: Happened by...
I had caught a ride from Oneonta NY to Washington to visit a friend. After arriving on the American U. campus someone saw me and my backpack and said, "You here for the Dead Concert, man?"

Of course! Didn't know they were playing but whatever plans I had changed that night and I was there for the show.

Free concerts on college campuses are now a thing of the past.
Reviewer: tuttibene - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 23, 2010
Subject: Lucky to be there
EVERYone remembers the amazingly lovely dancer during the break..Brown Sugar was the tune she was dancing to...Yow. I recall her picture was in the campus paper the next day. We had heard from our friends that we were reallly gonna like who was playing on campus soon. Never thought it would be the Grateful Dead..a nice surpize! Thanks Joe! I still have the hand drawn flyer. Just word of mouth and a few hundred showed up outside the Art building where we took classes. Great to hear it again finally. Nice free show. Loved it!
Reviewer: weaselnamedfee - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 1, 2009
Subject: Beautiful Collectiveness
Not that the Dead wasn't exceptional at this in '72, but this happens to be a gem. About a year ago I saw Dark Star play this show and it was unreal. The communication between Bobby and Jerry and the Bird Song is what really gets this one going. Amazing show, great song selection and amazing execution by the boys. This is a must for any fan and for anyone who has friends who are not turned on, this is a good one for you to show them. BLESS YOU ALL!!!
Reviewer: JerryInaPouch - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 30, 2009
Subject: thirty SEVEN years ago today... :^)
Yes, the bird song is exceptional. So was most of 72'- but this show is more of a "collection" of great songs played WELL, but played briefly. Surely NOT the Pauley Pav. show of 73' in terms of long, swooning jams taking you to other worlds. No, this show is DEFINITELY great- but more of a 4 star to show your friends and get them hooked great, not Fillmore 69' great. Heads out there, you know what I mean. :) Take care.

Reviewer: DooDahMan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 30, 2007
Subject: 35 years ago today
It's been 35 years and a lot of miles since I was a 15-year-old kid at my first Dead show. The field was wet and a little sloppy from recent rain (As a result this was the last show AU allowed on the soccer field) but there was still a good turnout. There was a characteristic mellow atmosphere to the show, with everyone feeling quite able to do as they pleased, including the lovely dancer... (My recollection is of her remarkable dance atop the right speaker cabinets) life in the seventies...
Reviewer: peterroi - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 17, 2007
Subject: This was a memorable concert
Yes, I was there too, and will always remember it.
Almost like a private party it was; in a moderately sized field somewhere on campus.

It was great fun. And I remember the woman doing a strip tease and dancing me it was so wholesomely erotic and pleasant to watch....

My recollection was she did it at the break between two sets, but she may have hung around in the wings when the band came back for part two.

Ah la jeunesse!! Fleeting, fleeting......

eheu fugaces, fugaces, fugaces, anni labuntur!
Reviewer: rustyredgates - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 15, 2007
Subject: It was a great freebee
As an AU student, I was a amazed that we would have a free Dead concert. The nipple balance was admired greatly by the guys, those who could still see straight, or remember it afterward.
It was lower key than going to RFK, but the seats were better.
You did have to look first, before putting your blanket on the ground. There were some nasty suprises for the unwary.
Reviewer: samba-c - - June 13, 2007
Subject: Ameerican University 9,30 '72
I was at that show.AU had free shows often,but this was i a different locatio tha usual,the stage was bigger. It started early,as I recall ,still light out.Not alot of people,not even 500.Maybe 2. Short show too I imbibed some vitamin L but was barely embarked when they finished. I was 16 . This was my 3rd Dead show,but I'd been tripping at shows most weekends for 2 years. The music was good,I remember a woma dancing topless o the side of the stage ,she seemed to be pretty experienced at this sort of dancing-had various tricks ,including balancing a joint on the nipple of each of her rather rotund breasts ,I recall alot of speculation about how she got them to stay there,She even got each breast bouncing in opposite directions.I was dissapointed it ended so early ,hoping it would be one of those marathons where they played for 4 hours, or more.
Reviewer: w629 - - June 8, 2007
Subject: I Was There
As a member of the AU "concert committee," I was at this show. And I was recruited by the roadies to help them set up and take down the Dead's enormous sound system. Since I had forklift experience, I drove the lift putting their speakers in place and taking them down after the show. My memories of the music itself are pretty much gone now but this concert attracted people from all over to our baseball/soccer fields. Needless to say, it was cool to discover such a great recording of the show. I still have the T-shirt that all members of the concert committee wore that day.
Reviewer: Afro Tom - - April 27, 2007
Subject: Venue Clarification
According to Deadbase X, this show was a free concert on American University's outdoor soccer field, which at the time appear not to have had a name.
Reviewer: gruUbic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 6, 2006
Subject: 09/30/72 AU
What was the name of the "venue" where they played this night? the one y'all call "American University"?

Sound is pretty good -- the show is mellow?? okay, true that a bad thang??---

this is the "tired time" post-europe, remember where we were.

nice pitch and roll, boyz!

tight china>rider bridge - strong River - Losers lots of great licks...
jerry's sooooo sincopated -
and bobby's solid.

Phil is ON!
- worthy.

4 plus
Reviewer: capn doubledose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 8, 2006
Subject: Great
Sugaree, BTW Wind, rippin China Cat and a sublime Bird Song + Playin make this first set alone worth the listen.

Second set ebbs a bit but there are some good licks in Truckin>Other One. I like Wichita, Stanley Theatre, and Palace Theatre first night better but this is a solid show nonetheless with great sound.
Reviewer: Dub Irie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 28, 2005
Subject: Good recording and show
I agree this is very solid in almost every way. - But I would give it 4.5 stars - not a true 5. Big River smokes; PITB very mellow but nice, then a quaaluded 15 minute version of He's Gone left me reaching for the No Doz. Robust and solid Truckin, The Other One and Sugar Mag are essential listening material and the mix is great.

In this mix overall there is very clear stereo separation with Bobby cranking out the right side and sounding unusually crisp.
Reviewer: elvikingo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 23, 2005
Subject: Good Show
This is a really solid show. I think it deserves 5 stars. Nothing earth shattering here, but a solid '72 show. Nice Bird Song, Loser, the Sing Me Back Home out of Other One is nice. Cool and laid back, good quality. Not a must have but a great stand by. Check it out.
Reviewer: robobaer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 12, 2004
Subject: 1972
9 th grade AU first big open concert. Rollicking sea of people - couldn't really figure it all but enjoyed the hell out of it - crazy night - Dr. Strangelove was on the late late show after the concert - ignore rating - what the hell do I know
info Stream Only
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Grateful Dead
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Live Music Archive
Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 4/12/2004
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